Below is the archive of fan provided transcripts from 2015 and 2016
The Aeronauts Windlass signing at Stokie IL
Transcript by forum member cass,
Jim preempts the questions with an answer:
“The next book of the Dresden Files is…I’m working on it (audience laughter), and I’m supposed to turn it in this Christmas and if that happens on time then I reckon you’ll see it sometime probably early next Spring, so there, now you know that. ‘Cuz everybody always asks me that like first thing, so I just thought I’m just going to beat you to the punch today.
So, new book’s out, I hope you guys like it. It’s ridiculous, the entire thing…it’s the longest book I’ve ever written. The entire thing got started because I was trying to figure out, I was trying to answer a question of myself of “why goggles?” and it just got completely out of hand. This is the first book in the series, I’ve got a contract for three of them. I can end it there, or I can end at six or end it at nine depending on how people are liking it. I hope I can do all of it, I’m pretty sure I will, but you gotta take reality into account while you’re planning this kind of stuff, so we’ll see.
Just out of curiosity: Dresden obviously has a hat on the books, whereas this one doesn’t have a hat on the book, but has one in the book. Is there a certain symmetry to that?
Poor Chris. I’ve been giving such a hard time all this time for Dresden’s hat that this cover came in and the character did not have the hat and I was just like, “Well played. I have been truly trolled and that was masterful.” I at least got him to draw in having him hold the hat under his arm, so we at least got that much. So that’s what’s up with that.
It makes sense to have Dresden on the cover all the time because he’s the star of the series and so on. In this book we’ve got several viewpoint characters throughout the book and many of them are female so what’s the deal with having one guy on the cover.
I actually anticipate that they’ll probably put a different viewpoint character as the star of each cover but I don’t do that…my take on it is, I don’t do the covers. Really, they just say, “Here’s the art, what do you think? You like it right?” “Y-yes, it’s great.” “Ok, good, I’m glad you think that.” Y’know, so. But I imagine that we’ll have different characters on the covers in the future books. Or at least that would be my hope, because some of them will look way more cool.
Am I still planning on doing the young adult book with Maggie and Mouse when Maggie goes off to school?
Is there an HBO show still in the works?
No, there’s a possible show in the works; it doesn’t necessarily belong to HBO or anybody else. In my dream world it goes to Netflix, but we’ll see what happens, or if it happens.
When are we going to get some mermaids in Dresden?
Probably not until the big trilogy at the end because wizards don’t like to go on the ocean and they don’t do it unless they’re desperate.
How is Nemesis passed from person to person?
[singsong] I’m not gonna tell you! That would make it way too easy! [normal voice] but, anyway, I will tell you that it got to Lea through the dagger, so, there, now you know that much. Oh, you already knew that, so I didn’t actually tell you anything? I’m sorry, I was a tease, wow. I’m awful, I shouldn’t do that.
Are there any Cinder Spires short stories?
No, at this time, not yet. I’ve still got way too much world to build before I can get to start spinning off little stories about the place. And there’s all kinds of work to do on this book [Peace Talks], which I’m very much looking forward to. I’m almost like, “C’mon, Dresden, get out of the way, I wanna go to this new place where I haven’t seen it before.” And Dresden’s over here, “but we still have to do awesome!” “Yeah, you’re right. We do still have to do awesome. Yeah, I’m so sorry about the city, but, um, just stay out of town on Midsummer and you’ll be fine.”
What about Codex Alera short stories?
I guess I could. Nobody’s ever really asked for ‘em. They call me and say, “Could you contribute a Dresden story to this anthology” and I’ll be like, “Yeah, ok, whatever.” So as far as that goes, I’d probably need an invitation to say “We need a fantasy short story.” I kind of already told the story I wanted to tell with Alera; there’s some places I can go back there in the future if I want to, and maybe I’ll have to pay off my gambling debts or something and that’ll make it necessary. But for the time being I’ve got so many stories I want to tell I’m going to have to live to be like, 128, to tell them all. So all you biomed people out there, get on that biological immortality thing, it’s got a lot of promise. We can all live like elves then, which would be really interesting.
How many hours a day do you write? Are you mostly focused on one series or another series or do you jump between them or do you get so focused on Dresden Files or that, or Cinder Spires…?
That was a cloud of questions. Not so much a question as a kind of a shelling….I usually start some time between 11[pm] and 1[am] and write until the sun comes up because that’s when the magic is over. And then I’ll sleep until noonish, and so on. Yeah, PM, because I’ve got to work when I know no one is going to interrupt me because that just drives me insane. I like to work on one project at a time, because I’m terrible with the multitracking thing.
Right now, I’ve been forced to be sidetracked because I’ve got a short story that I forgot to write, so I’m writing the short story which is Butters’ first mission as a Knight. It’s kind of awesome; he’s out training with Michael and they’re doing cardio training and he kinda pulls up and stops and Michael’s like, “What’s wrong?” and he says, “There’s this guy over there…”, “What guy?”, “That guy, the bum sleeping on the bench.” “What about him?” “There’s a giant yellow exclamation point floating over his head. What, you don’t see that?” and it kind of starts from there. Butters, Knight of WoW.
So I’ve got to finish that up, and I’ve got to send off outlines to a couple of graphic novels to Dynamite, so we’re gonna have fun. One of them’s basically going to be Harry Dresden vs. the Joker, more or less, although in this case, he’s called Puck. ‘Cuz Puck is an awful person, he really is, in the Dresden Files. He doesn’t run around being cool; he’s terrible. And fun.
And there’s another where we’re gonna catch up with all the folks that went off to form their Feng Shui out in California after Blood Rites [the crew from Arturo’s film]. There’s a problem, and so Lara’s hiring Harry to fix the problem for her so she doesn’t lose her grip on the White Court and that’s the other graphic novel, so we’ll see what happens with that. And then, once I get those two little projects knocked off, for the rest of this year, it’s back to Peace Talks, and it’s Peace Talks, Peace Talks, Peace Talks, which is really winding up looking like a royal rumble of ‘who would win this fight?’ So that’s good fun.
But that’s how I work, I try to get just one project at a time, and tear into it until it’s over, and then I’m done. Also, I only have to write a certain number of words per day; it might be 4K, then I might stop and let myself go play video games. But writing is very much a marathon kind of thing for me; there are other people who do it as a sprint. Oh my gosh, Ringo [it was indistinct…], he’ll do like, 35K words a day until a book is done and hardly ever sleep or eat or do anything else; all he does is do that until he passes out and then he gets up and keeps doing it. He’s a madman, which, don’t get me wrong, that’s a complement, but wow, I wish I could do that, that would be so cool.
Is Harry going to allow Bob any role in raising the new spirit baby?
No. Harry’s gonna have that ‘Dad with shotgun talk’ with Bob about it, really, is what it amounts to. But anyway, you’ll see more about that in the book. We start off early with Bonnie.
You had Harry run off the road in Proven Guilty and you never went back to who did it…?
Yeah, that’s weird, right? Yeah.
Could you tell us about the conspiracy theory about the show [the SciFi/Syfy Dresden Files TV show from the mid-‘00s]?
Ok, you’ve gotta understand that I’ve got no proof behind this, ok, because if you have proof, it’s not a conspiracy theory, and in fact it makes it a worse conspiracy theory if there’s any proof. What you need for a conspiracy theory is pictures and yarn and thumbtacks, that’s what you need for a conspiracy theory.
Alright, so this is my conspiracy theory. Set the Wayback Machine for 2007, and Bonnie Hammer (sp?) is the president of the science fiction channel. Bonnie Hammer who does not like science fiction, and they put her in charge of it after she had beefed up I think it was USA [popular basic cable network in the US; mainly does syndication of other shows, movies and some original programming] and beefed up the USA channel to something that was way, way more watched than it had ever been before and then they put her in charge of the science fiction channel, which I can only assume was some kind of corporate exile to Siberia. I kind of assume that she made enemies and that was the result. So she’s in charge of the science fiction channel, and she’s given the science fiction channel ‘ghost hunters’ and extreme wrestling. Which, don’t get me wrong, I like wrestling, I watch it for the writing, but maybe not on the science fiction channel, okay?
And so meanwhile, her vice president comes along, this guy named David How(e? sp?) and he was the one who was behind bringing the science fiction channel ‘Battlestar Galactica’ to immediate critical and popular acclaim. So when you’re the president of a company, that works for somebody else, and your subordinate comes up and does something awesome, that does not necessarily reflect well on you and certainly not in Hollywood, where the motto is, “it’s not good enough to succeed; you also have to make sure your friends failed”. That’s kind of a truism out there. So he gets behind the next project, and his next project is ‘The Dresden Files’. So just about two weeks before—and it was coming together pretty well—and two weeks before the show started shooting all of a sudden all these changes got made to the internal structure of the show. I suspect that it was Bonnie Hammer that was behind it, but I don’t know. That’s why it’s a conspiracy theory.
Originally, the show was going to be a serial; it was going to cover the events of Storm Front and Fool Moon in the first season and kind of interweave the plots and then have the big showdown…it would have been extremely crazy because it would have been wizard, loup garou, shadowman all at once, it would have been insane. But two weeks before they said “oh, we’re gonna get this producer from ‘Charmed’ on, and he’s gonna be in charge now.” And everybody was like, “yeah, okay” and the guy from ‘Charmed’ got on two weeks before they started shooting and said, “Alright, we’re not going to do a serial, we’re going to do episodes. Nobody likes a serial.” And I was going, “are you using the same word? Are you talking about breakfast cereal, maybe? Because people dig serials, man.” But we’re going to do episodes. And they told him, “but, we don’t have time to rewrite all these episodes, they’re built to be one building after another. That’s where they get their punch from.” And he’s like, “Ah, it’s not a big deal, we’ll just change the names of characters and disconnect all the episodes and we’ll do them out of order and it’ll be fine.” And….uh, okay, I guess you’re the boss. So they had to do what the boss said, and I think that was kind of what wound up happening. There were several things that happened. Plus he was the boss from Los Angeles when they were filming in Toronto, so, you can imagine how well that worked out. So the guy who had actually done all the work and had been on the ground doing everything, Robert Wolf (sp?) who was the guy that I was backing and who I think really threw himself into the project as hard as he could, basically they took away his authority and gave it to somebody else, and that guy said, “Do ridiculous stuff!” and Robert Wolf had to be like: *deep breath/heavy sigh* and then go do it.
But yeah, lots of bad things happened, like little things, that sandbagged the show. For example, by the time the guy out in California would write changes to a script, he’d turn them in, and he’d turn them in by nine, and that’s considered standard in California. But 9 in California is midnight in Toronto, so by the time changes came in at midnight and by the time everybody got called it was 1am , and then by the time scripts got printed out and were being taken around by exhausted production assistants to people who needed them, it would be 2 in the morning and suddenly the guy who went to bed at ten o’clock would get a call at 2 and he’d hear, “Sorry, Terry, I know you haven’t seen your family in 3 weeks, and you were going to go home for two days tomorrow, but we need you on set at 5am instead.” It was that kind of thing that happened over and over and there were lots of little things that just sandbagged it.
So that’s where I say, “conspiracy theory”. So, kind of political infighting is what did that. I don’t know whether it’s true or not, because I have no proof. I do have a bunch of facts and a good theory that hooks them up together of why they would happen that way, but there was a lot of stupid from out in California, and the people in Toronto were laboring mightily to try to make a good show anyway.
With Harry being a nerd who loves movies and sci-fi (Harry’s a nerd?) How has he managed to go this far without having making a Zuul/Vince Clortho (sp?) reference to Rashid the Gatekeeper?
Partly, it’s the Gatekeeper, and the Gatekeeper is really scary. Harry doesn’t write that kind of thing in there, but that’s part of it. Also, I don’t know, I haven’t gotten there yet; it hasn’t been right. I gotta feel the nerd come on or it doesn’t work. You must feel the nerd-dom around you.
Are we going to revisit the inmates in Harry’s prison and see who some of them are?
[righteous voice]Most people there are there to be locked up for ever and ever and ever and the only way you’d ever see who any of them were is if [singsong] something horrible went wrong. [scandalized voice] So no, no, ‘cuz that would be awful.
I’ve noticed you’ve written some short stories with other authors are you interesting in writing anything with [indistinct, presumably author names] or Simon R. Green (sp.?)
Actually I’ve never written a short story with anybody. The books that have short stories [anthologies].
Oh, yeah. I actually edited a book this year, I wanted to try something new so I tried on my editor hat and I edited a series called ‘Shadowed Souls’ which has the first…it’s a short story of Molly on her first mission as Winter Lady so you get to see what her job is and what her position is within the Court and why it’s so important that she does what she does. And it’s also her team up with Ramirez, so, for those ‘shippers, *toots like a steam whistle*. But I also got to edit all these other people which was really amazing and I would sit down and get to work and I remember at one point I was editing and I finished up with my critique and sent it off and then I connected an alias to the person it belonged to and was like, “I just told Nora Roberts (sp?) to cut ten pages from this short story. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. ” Then Kerry Hughes (sp?) who I was working with to do this one saw that and just laughed and laughed at me. Just laughed. It was a very good story, though. It just didn’t start ‘til page 10. It was only after I’d hit send that I was like, ‘J.D. Rob- that’s Nora Roberts, oh no.” But as far as doing stuff with other people, not so much, I mean, I agreed to write a short story for Correia (sp?) in his Monster Hunter International universe, because I think the janitor at MHI would have a really interesting job. So I want to write that story. And then there are also several of us who are putting together a story about a bad guy-slash-problem that goes through multiple realities so everybody’s characters are interacting with him for a bit. Basically, each of the authors gets 10K words of the story to handle. So Harry Dresden will be a part of some of it and then wash his hands of it and walk away shaking his head at the end. I don’t even know what’s going to happen—he’ll probably be in the middle, I’m not even going to figure out how this ends, darn.
As for actually writing with somebody else, I would do that to anyone I respected as a professional. I’m awful. I am pouty and childish and controlling and completely immature, so it’d be like trying to write music with five year old Mozart. Because they’re doing stuff that doesn’t make any sense and ignoring everybody’s advice and why not have a purple elephant in the margin of this? There’s no rule that says we can’t do that for music. And that’s kind of the way I work with folks.
Codex Alera question. Why did it take so long for women’s suffrage to occur when you have all this furycrafting that different females had; why did it take so long when you didn’t have an Industrial Revolution to fuel it [fuel what?]?
Part of it was that Aleran culture for a long time before the books started was…After the Romans got there, they looked around and saw a world full of various forms of sentient life and so they did what Romans did and started conquering it, and in this case, more or less killing it. And after a while, it got to the point where the only thing that was keeping them alive was their fury crafting and they were basically…their colony was one giant colony death cult. Slash city of Sparta. And if you were a woman in that culture, your job was to make more soldiers, and more women who could make soldiers, and that was what they had to have to survive. They had an evolutionary drive that was going on in that sort of situation because they had life or death all the time and that’s all they did. So basically, it was Deathworld for a long time and they brought it on themselves, but, Rome kinda did that. And then for a while things sort of settled out but the gender roles were still very, very specific, and still very, very strong and holding on very strongly and the powerful furycrafting was really not present in a whole ton of people. It was there in some people, but not a whole lot. And even if you were a woman who had a certain amount of earthcrafting it would be frowned upon for people to be teaching you, “here, here’s how to go be super-strong,” you would be using other aspects of earthcrafting to do things wherever you were. So there’s a huge cultural reinforcement for that, and the way the magic of the world worked also biased how that was received and used. And that went on for a long, long time because they had a very static society because they *weren’t* developing technology and they *weren’t* making a lot of innovations in furycraft, so it was much like medieval Europe where things just didn’t advance very quickly and so societies as a whole looked very similar from one century to the next in many ways. And it started happening in these books because I’d gotten things set up at first and I realized that, wait a minute, it shouldn’t be working like that when I’ve got all these powerful female crafters that are actually doing things. So that was when it started to change. But even then, the ones who were talking about suffrage were all the lords and ladies who had all this power and they could make you pay attention to them. You could tell Aria Placida to go to the kitchen and make you a sandwich, and after you woke up in the burn ward…she could enforce whatever she wanted on just about anyone and she wasn’t afraid of anybody. But not everybody with Aria’s personality was also born with Aria’s power and that makes it a completely different thing. That’s really what would have held the Roman Empire together, if power could have resided with people with the right bloodlines, that would have held Rome together a lot better. So in Alera, it was all intricately bound up; powerful people had powerful crafting; that’s what makes you a noble. That’s a real good place to stay static, a real good way to keep things exactly the way they are.
Was the pokemon bet story real?
Annnd part 2:
The difference between Wizards and Muggles in the Dresden Files:
First of all, you’ve gotta be born with a certain amount of talent to be able to touch magic at all. Sometimes that talent is greater and sometimes it’s lesser, but you’ve got to have one particular gene flips the switch that says, “Yeah, weird”. Once you’ve got that, then you’ve got to be in a position where you can develop that talent, and in a position where you’ve got the intelligence and focus and drive to make something of it, just like any other talent, actually. Some people are born with a really great genetic setup to play basketball; that doesn’t necessarily make them Michael Jordan because not only do they have to have the gift, they have to be in the situation. If you were born with the awesome basketball gene spread and you happened to be born Inuit, probably you’re not going to get a chance to express that, a chance to work on it. I always built magic in the Dresden Files as something that was a talent like any other. You can be born with a certain amount of it but that doesn’t mean you’re a wizard without a lot of hard work as well. Conversely, you can be born without a really spread of talent, and yet if you work hard enough and really dedicate yourself to it, you can really make something of yourself. So that’s kind of the difference. Most people can use at least a little magic. Most people could probably be dangerous in the Dresden Files world, if they had enough training and worked on it for years and years and years. But there’s only a few who are really born ready to go to the NBA draft. And of those people, that’s who you see who’s on the White council is those people who are born with that and then who develop it as well.
As far as how the thorn manacles work:
Do I explain that to you? Yeah, it won’t hurt anything, why not. Essentially what it does is when a wizard’s drawing the magic in, the thorn manacles divert it to somewhere else. Wizards have to give a little bit of energy from inside themselves, but mostly that’s to pull it in from the outside. And the thorn manacles take that and go, “Nope, ok, we’re shunting it out into the Nevernever and you don’t get to use it.”
So if a Muggle were to [indistinct, I think it was ‘put on a pair of thorn manacles would it hurt them’]?
Not a whole lot. It would, hurt, because they’re like, nails, it would hurt. But they couldn’t really bring a lot of magic in. The pain is just a result of the energy that is going by and going elsewhere, it’s inefficiency of transfer, if you want to put it in engineering terms. That’s really nerdy, so I won’t do that.
Other that getting paid, why do you write?
Because I never have to wear a tie. And I can go to work in my pajamas. I’m basically my own boss, and there’s like, zero security in the job because you guys could decide tomorrow, “no, we’re not going to read your stuff anymore, you suck.” And then, what do I do? Nothing. But all that said, the freedom of it is more important than anything else. I can do this job and I can go anywhere. I got engaged. I can move, go up to live in the same state as my fiancée and that doesn’t affect my job at all, ‘cuz I just take my laptop with me and keep going. Also I would probably lose my mind if I didn’t. Most writers that I know don’t go: “you know how I want to make a living? I want to make [indistinct] ten things, and tell giant complicated lies and then get people to pay me money for it.” Most of them don’t. Most of them are just like, “I’ve got to write this story or I’m going to lose my mind.” And then they’re like, “Well, as long as I’m staying sane anyway, might as well be more sane and make a living at this because Ikind of enjoy it.”
How does Tavi subdue Garados at the end [of First Lord’s Fury]?
He doesn’t. Kitai does. She’s been training with Alera the same as Tavi has the entire time. Garados is big and mighty, but Alera is the whole continent. She really knows what’s going on better than anything else out there. Any of the High Lords could probably have squared off against Garados and made him go back to his corner. In this case, it was Kitai handling it while Tavi finished off the war.
Why did you base the Dresden books in Chicago?
Because my writing teacher would not allow me to set them in Kansas City. They started off as a school project and they were originally set in Kansas City and she read them and was like, “Well, you’re going to sell this.” And I was like, “What?” And she was like, “Yeah, you’ll sell this. I don’t know if it’s the first thing you’ll sell, but this is of professional quality and you will eventually sell it. But one thing, you can’t set it in Kansas City.” And I’m like, “Well, why not?” And she’s like, “You’re already walking close enough to Laurel Hamilton’s toes that you don’t need to set this book in Missouri. So set it somewhere else.” I’m like, “Where?” She’s like, “Anywhere, doesn’t matter.” There’s a globe in her office; on the globe in America there’s four cities. One is New York City, which I don’t want to use because superheroes have that place all sewn up, and my editors live there and would catch every city mistake I made and sneer at me. D.C. was one of the other cities, and I didn’t want to write D.C., because if you write D.C you have to write politics, and you’re gonna piss off somebody, that’s how it works. L.A. was there and I didn’t want to use L.A. because it’s Los Angeles, what can I say, I didn’t want to write in Los Angeles. And that left Chicago, so I said, “How about Chicago?” and she was like, “Great, fine, Chicago, whatever, use that.” So that’s why Chicago. I wish I had a much more sophisticated, intellectual, philosophical-slash-literary answer for you, but the fact of the matter is that I wanted an A.
Did you get it? Yeah, I did, actually. In her class I did, and then in the other…I actually wound up getting thrown out of the writing program there, ‘cuz I ticked off a professor in another class, and so he arranged things so that I did not get to come back to finish my masters’ degree in professional writing. So I considered panning the professional writing program there in my author biography and everything: “Cast out of the University of Oklahoma’s professional writing program, author Jim Butcher has nonetheless somehow managed to blahdiblahblahblahdiblah.” But my writing teacher, Debbie Chester, who taught me everything I know about writing, kindof came up to be and was like, “Jim, I’m not saying you got treated fairly because you didn’t. But, I’m not saying that you need to say anything nice about the writing program, because I know you don’t like it right now, but you’re gonna be really good so please don’t pan us.” “Ok, fine, I won’t.”
[Indistinct] He was the dean of the school, I was in his class, and when he checked with the professional writing program about who to send to represent them at the big yearly alumni dinner, Debbie said, “Send Jim.” And I’m like, “What do you want me to do?” and he says, “I just want you to say a few words about the professional writing program and how it’s going.” I’m like, “Ok, well, what do I say?” And he’s like, “Speak honestly about what you think.” And I thought he meant it. So I showed up and said, “Well, parts of it are really, really great and awesome but there are all these other parts that are really frustrating for professional writing students because we’re taking all these journalism classes that have nothing to do with writing a novel and getting it done, yet we’re being required to do it. And this is a master’s program, you’re supposed to be focusing on a specialization at this point, and not the survey-undergrad stuff at this point.” And so I said that, and so on my last paper for his class that year, he marked off exactly enough points—on comma placement in the paper—to make sure I got a C+ in his class so that they’d kick me out. And then they lost my application to get back in. Eleven times. Yeah, they made it really clear. No, I’m not the kind of person who stops after the first failure, which is the only reason I got published at all.
Mac’s ale. I’m a homebrewer, and I’ve been trying to figure out what kind of beer this is. And I really need to know what you based this off of so I can try to make it for myself.
Mac’s ale is based off of my imagination and my brain. I’m not actually a beer drinker; I don’t like beer a whole lot. I don’t! I’m more a cider kind of person. I went to Sweden last year—oh my gosh the cider they have Sweden. Oh! It’s like drinking a really, really, really good, like premium draft soft drink. I had this pear cider that was amazing, except it would also leave you unconscious if you had more than two or three bottles of it. It mostly came from my imagination, from my beer-drinking friends, and their descriptions.
Are we actually going to see Mac do something other than what he’s actually done so far.
Mmmmmmaybe. [Thoughtful, not gleefully teasing intonation.] You will get to find out more about him, at any rate. Whether you will actually get to see him doing stuff is still a really serious question, I don’t know. I’ll have to figure that out as we go.
How do you come up with the names for people/places/things?
Mostly, I look at the meanings of the names. I’ve got a giant book of just names and their meanings. And I generally try to find something that is either appropriate to the character for the name, or completely inappropriate to the character for the name. One of the two, and then use that one. So I have the guy who is the professional traitor, and name him Fidelias, which means faithful, and so on.
How on Earth does anyone get anywhere in Chicago in 20 minutes? The traffic lights…
When you’re on a T-Rex, you don’t have to wait for lights. That was just, boom boom boom boom, get outta my way. And as we all know [british accent] we clocked the t-rex at 35 miles per hour. So if you can drive 35 down that street without stopping, you can get there that quickly.
When are we going to see dragons [Dragons? Not sure] again?
Dude, I can’t possibly do a dragon thing unless it’s a whole book. So that would be book….20 or 21, something like that. Probably 21. Yeah, that seems about right. [Note that this is currently scheduled at or near the beginning of the BAT]
Speaking of Molly and Ramirez, going into this short story, what is the status of their technical or not technical virginities?
That’s awfully personal, don’t you think? Molly’s is still technically intact. Ramirez’ we don’t really know, and I don’t think it becomes clear during the course of this story. Well, it kinda does, but, well, you’ll have to read it. But yeah: real personal question, dude, seriously.
Will we ever get into who’s the mole (hole?) in the Vatican/who keeps letting the Coins loose?
Yes, kind of, but at the same time the Coins… it’s sort of necessary for them to be out in the world. They’re not designed to be kept in a vault somewhere and locked up. So it’s very, very difficult for anyone to guard them, for example, because the Coins do the One Ring thing to them until they get loose. But, yeah, they’ve been spread out in all kinds of different places and really the best you can do is to pick a guy who you hope is as close to incorruptible as humanly possible and leave him in charge.
How much of Hannah [Ascher]’s magic, her precision stuff, was her as opposed to Lasciel?
Much of it was Lasciel. Hannah was providing the muscle, Lasciel was providing the direction, so she was WAY better than she would have been otherwise without Lasciel there advising her. As far as how much will Bonnie know, well, you’ll have to see. The problem with Bonnie is not that she knows a lot, it’s that she doesn’t know how to apply anything. Like, she can tell you all about green and how many nanometers the wave length of light that the color green is and so on, but she doesn’t understand that grass is green, yet, because she hasn’t seen it. In the first couple of chapters of Skin Game [ed: I think he means Peace Talks] Bonnie and Maggie are in the kitchen making pancakes because Bonnie has informed her that she knows 317 recipes for pancakes and the ingredients that they have make 17 of them possible, so they’re trying to make pancakes from this, but they don’t really know how to tell when it’s time to flip the pancake over. You wait ‘til it’s golden brown. Well, how do you know it’s golden brown; it’s on the pan. It looks white from here! So Harry gets to walk in and Bonnie gets to say, “Pancakes are inanimate!” very excitedly because she just figured out that they’re inanimate objects. Bonnie’s got a long way to go before she’ll be anything, but she’s where Bob started.
When are we going to see more of Ivy and Kincaid, and does Ivy know if Kincaid’s the one who shot Harry?
We’ll see more of them next book, and I won’t tell you that.
[Indistinct, something about someone (Justine?) and Murphy smelling the same]
It’s because they use the same shampoo. It’s the green Suave, and that’s why. It’s really good shampoo if you want to grow your hair long, it’s excellent, it’s got no silicates in it, so it doesn’t abrade the hair. Don’t ask me how I know that. Anyway.
What exactly is a habble?
A habble is one level, one floor of the Spire. Since the Spires are these giant squares about two miles across, it’s two-by-two, four square miles…it’s the size of a small town, actually even a not so small town. It’s a significant portion of Manhattan, four square miles. The habbles are those, each level, it’s got about fifty feet of space [vertically], go you down the ramp, there’s another habble, like that.
[Inaudible, but apparently funny]
Well, the first place I do my research these days is, well, these days I can actually afford to Chicago and look. So, I do that, to a degree. Originally, I couldn’t; I had a couple of guide books to Chicago and that was all I had to go on. And then after a couple of books came out, I had a couple of readers who lived in here, and then I could talk to them about it. And now I have google maps, and more importantly, google street view. That’s useful to the point where I actually had a member of CPD SWAT approach me and say, “Listen, this scene that you set up in the short story the Warrior, where you had the guy on the roof and you said specifically which lights were out, to have the approach and so on, so that the sniper would have the best point of view, I checked that out and you were right and I need to know who you consulted about that kind of information because we sort of like to keep track of people with that kind of information.” And I was like, “I just play Call of Duty and looked at google maps and google street view, I’m sorry.” And he was like, “Ohhh. Gah. *forehead smacking*” Oh, yeah, it’s like, “Yeah I have a scale model of the city in my basement, I just used that!” As far as the driving, I get a lot of requests for, “Could you please destroy this for Chicago?” so the what, the McHenry [indistinct audience input], yeah, he’s busy being a dad. Plus, I think he worries about showing up to a move and having a hit squad show up to handle him.
Is there any word yet on the children’s series about Maggie and Mouse?
No, because I’ve gotta have enough time to write it, and I’m still getting caught up. This year, personally, was like this really intense amazing-slash-awful rollercoaster for me, so I’m a little bit behind where I need to be, but I’m getting caught up now. As far as when I’ll do that one, it’ll be eventually, hopefully before too much longer, though, because that’ll be fun. Plus, I’m planning on writing that one with my sister, and so I would only have to do half of it, so that’s only, like, three or four short stories worth of writing, so I can really rip that out in a couple of weeks, and get that done. So that would be very cool, extremely fun. Maggie is a great character because she’s been though a lot and she has a lot of social anxiety issues. She genuinely needs mouse as a service dog next to her to help her stay cool and deal with people. She has trouble in enclosed spaces and trouble in open spaces and she’s really…she’s got a lot on her mind. Except when everything is totally going to hell and on fire, at which point she’s completely normal, because she’s Harry Dresden’s daughter. It’s, ‘Oh, I’m comfortable here, I know what to do.’
You’ve gotten all the answer you’re going to get, as far as which Fallen said that. I’m not saying that Lasciel lied about everything, or anything, because she could’ve, it could’ve been one of the others, but Lasciel is the one with an axe to grind, so.
Transcript provided by redditor blue_shadow_
Q: Can you tell us something about your new upcoming series, the steampunk series?
A: The new series is a steampunk series. I wanted to call it a steam opera, but my editor told me, “No Jim, you’re not allowed to make up brand new genres.” I’m like, “OK, fine, whatever, it can be steampunk.” But it’ll be coming out this fall; it’s called The Cinder Spires. The first book is called The Aeronaut’s Windlass. The setting is a world where the surface of the world is a very dangerous place to live and so most of humanity lives in these enormous nearly indestructible black towers called “the Spires”. All trade and travel and commerce and diplomacy is accomplished by airship between the spires, and two of the more powerful ones are beginning to position themselves to go to war with each other.
And the monarch of one of the spires, the Spirearch, has decided that he needs to assemble a mission team to get jobs done for him in order to get his spire positioned as advantageously as possible. So the story is kind of…I like to say it’s X-Men meets Hornblower, but that didn’t sound very steampunky, so now I say it’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen meets Hornblower. I would like to tell you that you’ll like it because there are good characters that I really enjoyed making or that you’ll like it because it’s really tightly paced, because even though I’m writing something that is a little bit more like Codex Alera, I tried to pace it like a Dresden Files book – kinda compress all the action into a small area. And I’d like to tell you that you’ll think it’s a cool story world, but really, what’s going to sell the books is that there are talking cats.
And the cats, they don’t speak human languages, of course – they speak “Cat”. They understand human languages, except when they don’t. But they sort of exist alongside humanity, they don’t like to mix too much with humanity because humans keep trying to feed kittens, and then kittens become dependant on humans and don’t learn to kill things for themselves – and that’s BAD. And humans – you kinda have to get along with humans though, because they have opposable thumbs…and matches! So the cats wind up being kinda like this little fuzzy mafia. “I notice your warehouse is rodent free. Perhaps you would like it to continue being rodent free. Perhaps there will be cream waiting every Thursday at three p.m.”
One of the cats has a pet human, so the Spirarch recruits her to be part of his team because somebody who can understand cats and who knows how to approach them and talk to them is very handy, because cats see and hear everything and they get everywhere, and they’re completely silent, and so they’re a fantastic source of information.
Another one of the members of the team is a down-on-his-luck privateer, a captain, who was successful enough in his privateering at the end of the Spires that they actually sent a battlecruiser out to kill him. He manages to survive, and get away and come home. But his ship’s all busted up, and though he doesn’t really care for the Spirearch at all, the Spirearch is willing to fix his ship, and he can’t say “no” to that.
There’s basically a princess of the Spire, a daughter of the most powerful house there. One of the warriorborn – about 3% of the population in this world is born slightly different than the rest of humanity, with a much higher metabolism, and much stronger and much faster. If you get in a fight and your side has warriorborn, and their side doesn’t…you win. So you gotta have a warriorborn along so another one doesn’t come tromp you. There’s an etherialist which is – there’s crystal technology that does a lot of the airship stuff, along with the more primitive steam technology, and there’s etheric engineers that run all of the machines that are based on the crystal technology, and there’s etherealists who sorta do everything the engineers do, only without that troublesome “machine” part in the middle. You know, they just sorta “get to it” at the end. As a result, they’re a little bit off…an etherialist who’s walking around and bumping into walls and talking to people who aren’t there – he’s probably safe. He’s probably okay. It’s the etherealist that’s looking at you calmly and inviting you to tea that you have to worry about – there’s something definitely, deeply wrong with that one. You definitely want the guy that’s a little bit weird on your team and not the calm one.
I had a great time writing it; I had a stronger response from my beta readers for this book than I have for anything else I’ve done. It’s the longest book I’ve ever written. It checks in at almost 200,000 words. It’s a nice, big, thick read, so we’ll see how it goes. I’m so sick of it now because I’ve been editing it over and over for the past several weeks, but eventually the characters will be like “Jim, we have to do another story” and I’ll be like “Shut up! I’m trying to write Harry Dresden!” But that’ll be out late September, early October.
Q: Cool, I think a lot of us will be excited to read that then. What, if any, tease can you give us for Peace Talks?
A: Peace Talks is all about the various signatories of the Unseelie Accords are having a convocation in Chicago to try and work out a way to settle down all the discord that’s been happening due to the Fomor seizing power in the vacuum left behind by the Red Court. So, I believe what’s going to happen is they’re all going to get together, they’ll have a nice dinner, they’ll hash things out, and then have a coupla beers and sing some songs, and everything will be FINE. Cause, you know, I want to surprise everybody. Everybody’s just looking for it to explode, and so on. This book is only set a couple of months after the end of the previous one [Skin Game], so, you know, Murphy’s still undergoing surgeries and so on to get fixed because when you get hurt like that, it takes a long time to get better. When you’re not some kind of superhuman, “I work for Queen Mab”, living punching bag… Let’s see, we’ll get to see a lot of, more of Harry and Maggie; Mouse will be in this one, we’ll get to see the White Council getting involved with things again, so we’ll have them on stage.
And I’m going to get to do a bunch of fights I’ve been longing to write since i first started writing this series, so that’s going to be fun. And we will have a good time with that book as well – as soon as it’s written, which, I have to stop doing things like going to Sweden and stay home and write books. It’s really a good thing I’m kind of a hobbit at heart because, you know, bad things can happen to you when you go on adventures…there can be trolls and dragons and things like that. Stay home on the couch, that’s not going to happen! And earlier I’d said that, and Kitty said “Yeah, but if you stay home on the couch, nothing good happens either!” And I’m like, “Speak for yourself! I’ve got a series to do! That’s important stuff to me.”
I’ve also got to do a few more Dresden short stories. I’m going to have to do “Harry Dresden does jury duty”, and I gotta assume that the lawyers ran out of people they could strike, and that Harry was left. I got called to jury duty myself, and I had a book due, so I really hated wasting the time. So I’m sitting here like this the entire time [arms crossed, leaned back, serious look on face], the lawyer takes one look at me, and goes, “Huh-huh – no.” Like that. I’m like, “That’s right, judgmental long hair – you don’t know which way that guy’s going to break.”
But let’s see, we’ll do the story of Molly’s first job as Winter Lady, and you’ll actually get to see what her job is, what the Winter Lady’s supposed to do, and what Maeve was not doing. Molly’s got, like, 150 years of backlog to clear before she can even catch up. Let’s see, I think I’m finally going to write the Hawaii story, where Murphy and Kincaid go to Hawaii. And there’s volcanoes and shark gods and everything, so that’ll be fun. What else? Oh, sometime probably next year, I’m going to be writing a series, at least a few books, that are going to be young adult books when Maggie Dresden goes to school. Maggie is…she’s going to be going to St. Mark’s Academy for the Gifted and Talented, which has been mentioned in some of the short stories. Dresden walks in and says “It’s too bad you’re not St. Mark’s Academy for the Resourceful and Talented, because then you’d be “SMART”. And as it is, you’re just “SMAGT.” ” So, that’s the school where all the scions, the offspring of supernatural beings who live around Chicago – that’s where they go to class, because it’s kind of been declared neutral territory. And the law is, the kids have to sort out their own problems. So Maggie’s going to be winding up going there, she’s got terrible social anxiety issues because she’s had [sing-song voice] some trauma. Unless she has Mouse along, and Mouse is kind of her “people-person”, he’s the face man. Unless, of course, things are on fire, and people are bleeding and screaming, at which point, she’s completely normal…because she’s Harry Dresden’s daughter. But that’ll be really fun to write, and we’re going to end that at middle school, so we’ll see how that works out.
But okay, so that’s my work for the near future, so now you guys know what I’m doing – I’ll be on my couch.
Seattle Q&A October 2015 from this video
Transcript by Second Aristh Here’s some new WoJ and a couple for the Cinder Spires as well.
Are there supernatural people who can do spaceflight?
It would not be beyond the realm of possibility for a wizard to open a Way that gets them to the moon eventually. On the other hand, there’s not a whole lot of reason to go to space when you can get pretty much anything you want here. Space is just mostly just space. If they want some of that they can always go into the NN and make whatever they want. That’s one of those things that the old powerful wizards have. Most of them have a demesne in the NN where they can retreat to when they feel like.
Why doesn’t Harry open a Way to block bullets/spells/etc?
He’s done that when he’s had some rock falling on him before. The problem with doing that is one it’s hard and takes a lot of energy. So there’s usually a more efficient way to do something about it. The other is that whatever’s charging through could always potentially get back out again. The other problem is what if he opens it to a part of the NN that’s filled with chlorine gas? You don’t really know what’s on the other side until you open the door and look. Sometimes surprise Narnia. Other times it’ll be Boom your Jokey Smurf moment. That’s the main reason. It’s so unpredictable that he’ll rely on fundamentals more than anything else. That’s something he would try if he was really desperate and just didn’t have another option. Of course if you’re in the NN you’ll be turning the thing loose who knows where in the real world. That’s also another issue. If it were that easy, it would be too simple of a solution, and that’s no fun.
On silkweaver silk and harvesting it
The silkweavers, they sort of weave these giant interwoven sails out of silk. They’re actually airborne most of the time flying around. As you get closer to the edges of the sails, the silk gets older and staler. That’s where you can go in and harvest it because it’s not still alive. The silkweavers generally don’t care if you go and snip off the parts of the web that are dead and carry it away to use for sails and whatnot. On the other hand if they’re (a) hungry or (b) you choose the wrong part of the web to come after, they’ll come at you to kill you. It’s why ethersilk is so expensive because people keep dying when they try to go get some. You can’t domesticate them. The only place to get them is out in the wild where there’s giant silkweaver colonies floating around and harvesting it there.
The first house we rented, the front door had a doorknob that was tricky. It was clever, crafty. For some reason, I was the only one in the family that had issues opening the doorknob. I don’t know if I was turning it the wrong direction compared to everybody else or what, but sometimes the door would open and sometimes it wouldn’t, but usually I would not be slowing down. So I would occasionally get bruises on my cheek or cuts on myself because I hadn’t handled the new doorknob technology sufficiently well. As I was thinking of stuff for the etherialists, that was the first thing I thought of for Ferrus. What if all doorknobs were that evil? That would make life so uncertain.
On White Court vampires and soulgazes with a bit on the Oblivion War
It’s not that Thomas is not human that the Forgotten Ones are not coming back, it’s because so few people are aware of them the connection is very tenuous. And also because the people fighting in the Oblivion War go to great lengths to make sure they stay ignorant. The lengths that Thomas goes to stay ignorant are he never does his homework, and he likes to not think about it.
As far as the soulgaze goes, it’s going to be different from one white court vampire to another because they have differing levels of humanity going on. Thomas is very very human. He’s connected to the most fundamental human trait which is love. When Mab said that if Harry died she would have gone to Thomas to talk to him about being the knight, Harry says he’s not even human. Mab says he’s in love. He’s human enough for me. So that would have been a possibility. If you get over to some of the more psychotic white court people some of the more jaded ones like Lord Raith, he doesn’t come off as very human. He would look very different under a soulgaze. Thomas is also someone who is continually struggling against his base nature. He’s struggling against the Hunger. That’s why he was presented in this moment of strength for the soulgaze. Other vampires are perfectly content with that. Lara has no problems with her Hunger at all. She’s integrated with it much the same way Nicodemus is integrated with Anduriel. It’ll be different from vampire to vampire.
Hi everyone. Here’s several more of the quotable WoJ from the 2015 interviews. There are a couple WoJ on Dresden along with some nice ones for Cinder Spires that I hadn’t heard before. I didn’t transcribe most of the writing craft talk or the stories Jim tends to tell for frequently asked questions.
Serack, I think the Salt Lake ComicCon video is gone, but this should be all of the 2015 sources except the itunes and the two sources with asterisks.
Interview with the guys who created the Dresden Files LARP game published June 5
On the White Council
The White Council has long been my example of good intentions run amok. They were meant to be something that was good and positive and a force for enlightenment, but instead, they wind up being a bunch of thugs who end up killing a bunch of kids. They’re badly playing catch up because they can’t keep pace with the world that has accelerated around them.
On contrasting the White Council and Black Council
The White Council is this force of restraint and keeping things buttoned down and under control. The Black Council is much more along the lines of “Well if you’ve got the power you should use it however you want to. If you’ve got the power, that’s what it’s for.” They’ve caused all kinds of havoc that even Dresden hasn’t realized yet and still more bad stuff that is coming in the future.
Road to EuroSteamCon Portugal / Internet Video Chat Interview (interviewer is based in Portugal)
Rowl is the prince of his local tribe. His father is the king of the local tribe, and Rowl will be king as soon as his father proves himself incompetent.
Did you get any new favorite villain from the Cinder Spires series?
Madame Cavendish is an etherealist, and not a nice one. She is kind of the driving evil behind everything that’s happening. Although she doesn’t really think of it as evil, she thinks of it as building a better world. You have to build it on something, and in this case it’s going to be on Spire Albion. She’s very strongly backing up Spire Aurora. The Aurorans are the more expansive aggressive Spire around. Her job is to basically wreck everything, and she likes her job a little too much.
She’s obsessed with politeness and manners. Partly that’s a reflection of the damage that’s been inflicted on her by her etherealism. She has a very difficult time being able to do things that are not polite and mannerly unless you violate manners first. As long as your manners are impeccable, you’re almost invincible to her. If you drop anything or say something that can be the least bit construed in the least bit as rude, then she can start ripping into you. It’s like twitter.
How do they get steam if they need to go to the surface to get coal and going to the surface means fighting a war?
They don’t have to go to the surface to get coal because they don’t burn a lot of coal. They’ve got a kind of biofuel that they use because if your whole existence is being lived in these huge towers, and they’ve lived there for a long time, you’ve got to have an extremely sustainable existence. Burning coal inside a building does not give you that. They’ve got a biofuel that they grow for part of it. They also have the heat provided by electricity that’s provided by these big crystals.
There are very few vatteries on the planet that are capable of growing crystals that are big enough and complex enough. It takes generations to grow them, so they’re extremely valuable. When I say extremely valuable, it’s more like priceless because you can’t just make new ones. It takes a long time to get them. They’re mostly used to drive these ships which drive trade and diplomacy and everything else. There’s a limited amount of that technology that can be employed inside the Spires. The ships get more of it, and they’re going to be developing more of it as the series goes on. I never want to write a series where everything stays as it always has. I want to write a series where things get started then because of what characters do, things start to change. That’s how the world works. People take action, and the world changes.
Is Cinder Spires geared more towards younger readers than the Dresden Files?
Some of the characters are. The two female viewpoint characters are seventeen. They’re both getting started in life. That’s the age you sign on to join the Spirearch’s Guard, sort of a cross between the peace corps and a police force. The nobles work for the Spirearch for a year, and it’s their badge of “Look I Contributed to Society”. That’s where these two are. Gwen’s cousin Benadict is only a couple years older than she is, so he’s the experienced one at nineteen. Captain Grimm is an older character in his mid-thirties. There are lots of other characters that are older like that. Part of this is we’re taking these newbies and throwing them into these horrible events, but there’s older characters around.
It’s not necessarily written for a young adult audience. Like I do with story worlds, I like to take characters and make sure they’re not the same when they start the story as they are when they finish it. That’s always got to be a part of your writing. How does the story change this person? How does this person get to be different? I think that age of human beings, that’s when human beings start really changing, figuring out who they are, and becoming different as they go into their late teens. We’re sort of looking around trying to grasp the world that’s around us. As we make our choices, we start shaping who we’re going to be. For these characters, that’s where I wanted them to see how they grow. They’re all coming from fairly similar places, and I want to explore how their choices will make their lives different. That’s always a critical part of writing. If you’re not writing where your character’s choices aren’t what’s driving the story and what’s creating your world, then you’re not doing it right.
WonkyCast 17: Jim Butcher (June 2015)
… it did mean that you could bring Sue into the books. (tail end of Why Chicago? story)
That wasn’t until later, though. That was after I had already written the books and was watching a History Channel show about Sue. I just watched it with my mouth open. I was currently writing Storm Front when I was watching that show. I was like, “I’ve got to use this! I’ve got to use this!” For five years, I waited to write that scene, and when I finally got to write it, I was like AAAHHH DELAYED GRATIFICATION FULFILLED! SO AWESOME!
You describe Albion as a black spire. Why isn’t Albion white?
You’ll find out more about that later. It’s a good question that I can’t answer without being very spoilery. That’s no fun for anybody..
Transcript by TheCuriousFan
Anton: I always wanted to know how he came up with Harry’s three exclamations, Empty Night, Hell’s Bells and Stars and Stones?
Jim: I’ll just say this, they’re not an accident, they’re actually the titles to the last three novels, the big trilogy at the end. So the first one is Stars and Stones, the second one is Hell’s Bells and the last one is Empty Night.
Anton: That will blow someone’s mind I am sure. Let’s see, will he be working on the codex, continuing more series or is he killing us all and making us wait for the next Dresden Files for the time being?
Jim: I just got finished with the first steampunk book so that will be coming out in relatively short order I would imagine some time in spring. But I don’t have a date for that yet, obviously. And then I’ll get to work on Dresden and I’ll see if I can have that done before the end of the year.
Anton: Next question, is Lea Harry’s grandmother?
Anton: This one, and I will give this person a punch for you, why isn’t he writing faster? Someone needs to duck tape him to his keyboard then do the same to George R.R. Martin.
Anton: I’m sure they meant that with love, because they were using duck tape.
Jim: And that’s kind, yeah.
Anton: Next question, will we ever get a Furies of Calderon RPG?
Jim: Don’t know. I am not opposed to it.
Anton: Was the island’s resident that had a conversation with Harry the same one as Goodman Grey?
Anton: Could you please thank him from me, all the way from Karachi, Pakistan, for portraying a positive Muslim character, at least yet, and tell him I love him very very much. May he live a happy, healthy, long and uber-productive life, amen.
Jim: Well from your lips to God’s ears.
Anton: I would love it if you let us know if he has any plans to show anything of the Jade Court of vampires in the future.
Jim: The thing about them is that they’re isolationists, they’re isolationists to such a degree that they think this whole “Chin” concept is still pretty new and we’re gonna have to stay and see if it still works out. You know this whole “China” thing, hmm…
But they’re old school, they’re really, really old school and they mostly stay within the Yangtze River valley and they don’t want anything to do with the outside world or to have the outside world have anything to do with them. So it’s not like they’re gonna go traipsing around and I’m not sure Dresden could survive a visit there so we might see some of their agents at some point in the future.
Anton: Next, I love his humour and found it a missing element of the TV series, if he hasn’t commented on this before I’d like to hear his thoughts. They put out the TV series and I seem to recall you saying something along the lines of “your books are your books and no matter what someone else did with a property out there it doesn’t change what you’ve done”. What were your feelings on the series? Assuming you at least watched part of it.
Jim: No I watched it. The show could have been a whole lot worse, I know it could have been a whole lot worse because I saw the first couple of treatments. I was very very lucky that the folks who did get on board with it were guys who actually read my books and came and talked to me about how we’re going to do things for the show and actually communicated with me and so on. It could have been a whole lot worse than it was. Now the things that did get changed on the show, they got changed for a variety of reasons and one of the things you learn about doing TV is that there’s all these other people and they all have brains and want to do things as well and they don’t just want to do things exactly like you tell them they should be. They call it “collaboration” and I am so against it.
Jim: Oh my gosh I can’t collaborate at all. But really, things could have gone a whole lot worse. I’m sort of of two minds about the TV show. On the one hand, they could have made it better if they’d gotten more time to work with it. On the other, it got cancelled before they could really totally ruin anything either. So we’ll see.
Anton: I took several film classes when I was going to (Hostra?) and we would watch different edit cuts of different films depending on editors, depending on costuming, depending on all these million elements. The fact that we get /any/ series that remotely resembles anything near the core material out there is astounding.
Anton: All things considered, it certainly didn’t hurt the books, I mean. I remember we did the tie-in covers with the little sci-fi logo and the sci-fi logo actually looked like it was about science fiction.
Anton: And the books are doing great anyway but there was this huge bump where people who might not have picked those books up were like “oh it’s a detective series, it’s got paranormal stuff in it but I guess I can read this detective series”.
Anton: Seeing as most people love the parts with Maggie and Mouse, does he have any thoughts about writing their own short story?
Jim: No but they might have their own YA story at some point.
Anton: Does Ebenezar know Harry and Thomas are siblings?
Jim: Sort of, he’s kind of in denial about it. We’ll get to see some of that in the next book.
Anton: Here’s one, this person clearly thought it out and I’ll butcher the name of this. Why doesn’t Harry use his forzare spell to fly? He could enchant his duster to make him lighter and then jump and glide over short distances. I know he’s built a lot into stories and Harry running to get away to from point a to b but I have always wondered why he didn’t just jump 40 feet in the air to get out of tight spots.
Jim: Harry’s actually done some of that before the series got started. There’s actually a mention in one of the books of Harry trying an enchanted broomstick and being lucky to survive the experience. The problem with learning to- I think the exact quote was “we never did get all the mud out of your eyebrows”. The problem with learning to fly is the same problem human beings had, it’s really dangerous and if you fail you don’t get to try again. If you fail to fly you don’t really get another shot at it. And wizards are the same way because everybody’s magic is uniquely individual so basically every wizard has to be his own Wright Brother if he wants to learn how to fly with magic. Some of them have, but it’s one of the best ways for a wizard to get himself killed.
Anton: It reminds me of the Bugs Bunny/Daffy Duck talent show cartoon where they’re going back and forth as to who can do what and at the end Daffy Duck eats this thing of dynamite and gunpowder and lights a match and blows himself up and Bugs is like “you win! that’s great, that’s great!” and he’s just like “yeah but I can only do it once!” Same thing as with flying.
What is the deal with Harry and his dad? Is Malcolm an agent of Uriel’s? Why do we keep seeing him?
Jim: No comment.
Anton: I at least wanted to get one “no comment” out of these questions cuz I knew someone was going to ask something and they were gonna be like “so what’s the end of the series? Just tell us the end, tell me now.”
Ask for an example of the elements of creation that Dragons used to be in charge of, pretty please? It’s been killing me for years and shouldn’t tread on any spoiler ground.
Jim: Dragons are the kinds of forces that you put in charge of things like “it’s time for another ice age, you, go handle that” and that’s the kind of thing that Dragons would be doing. “You know what? We really need this continent to be split by a giant river, arrange it” that’s the kind of thing Dragons are doing.
Anton: Last fan question here, was reading Even Hand last night and was wondering if Marcone’s real name is pertinent and will factor in later?
Jim: *nervous laughter*
It won’t factor in later because nobody’s getting it. Marcone is, as far as this series is concernd he is the most magic-savvy mortal that is running around these days and he is covering his bases and is very good at it. Marcone is the guy who has read the Evil Overlord List and would roll his eyes at why anybody would do such a thing.
DF Reddit podcast episode 17
I only transcribed the particularly juicy bits that I intended to later put in my “compilation.” Second Aristh actually did a better transcription, but it didn’t get archived properly unfortunately. -Serack
@ beginning, a line about a short story with Luccio in in 1883.
I’m doing a Wild Wild West short story set in Dodge City in 1883 staring Luccio.
At this time stamp https://youtu.be/4Gmu76ritoQ?t=1134
What did Ferrovax receive at Bianca’s party?
He got gold and gems. Not like a ton, it was several million dollars worth.
Was it infected?
Come on! Please.
When are we going to see Mavra again?
Um… 19? *pondering* Wait, I’m sorry we’ll definitely see her in Mirror Mirror. She’s a fast ally of Dresden’s in Mirror Mirror.
When your a black court vampire who essentially just gets to stay alive for as long as you want, time is much different to an immortal or virtual immortal than it is to one of us.
How old is she?
I think she’s about 600.
Are we going to see Agent Tilly again?
Yes definately. Tilly I had to get into the story a little bit earlier on, for when things are happening on more than the Chicago level later in the story.
Replace the outdated 2010 BBB question 269 with this one.
Will we see Tera West again?
Yah, probably not until the BAT though.
Will we see Chauncy again?
I don’t know, I haven’t thought about him in a good long time. He’s a demon that’s actually working in hell. Yah I can’t see how we can avoid seeing him in the second book of the BAT. That’s the one that’s entitled Hells Bells so.
What kind of magic does Chandler specialize in?
Chandler does a lot of Divination, and a lot of stuff that is involved with time. Which puts him in a very finicky spot, a very high profile spot on the council. It’s one reason why he’s a Warden where they can keep an eye on him. He can actually do things to screw with the flow of time and look back in time and find things out, and occasionally to look forward in time and see things. Although that’s very unreliable because of the whole free will nonsense. He’s an information gatherer for the most part. He’s not as much of a punch you in the face type, but he’s really really useful which is why he has got a lot of status among the young wardens. He’s got access to what the old wizards think is valuable, which is information.
(Jim also says here that Chandler’s hat and bowler look is based off of John Steed of the 1960’s British Avengers show)
How old is Lord Raith?
He’s a couple thousand years old. He’s got 2 thousand years of paranoia kinda built up. Plus he’s been absolutely bonkers the past 30 years or so. He’s hardly functional as a vampire, he’s getting to where he’s not evne functional as a figure head for much longer. That’s going to be a problem for lara to deal with.
Will we find out about Lord Raith’s library?
There’s kind of a long game going on in the Dresden Files, and Lord Raith has been involved in it in the last couple of cycle’s it’s gone on. He’s been trying to educate himself about it, and he meant to be a player in it this time it came around, but getting involved with Margret kind of screwed him over.
Lara’s got his library now and knows everything he knows, which explains a lot of her actions.
Eb took up the Blackstaff in 1884-1885 somewhere in there. The Blackstaff chooses his successor.
Crowley from supernatural, that’s Binder
Paraphrased: A gestating Wampire’s Hunger feeds off the mother in the same way the fetus does in order to generate enough essence to sustain itself until later, and then it goes dormant until the teenage years.
Dusk till Dawn was the inspiration for the Red Court
Partial transcript by Serack. These are the quotes I found significant about DF stuff.
At what time did Ebenezer know that Harry existed, and does he know that Thomas is his grandson.
Not until it was too late. Not till after Justin’s death that he was able to find out. As far as Thomas, Stay Tuned.
So in regards to Molly and the process that she’s been going through and growing up and such and now she’s the winter lady… I’m kind of interested in… it’s kind of two fold. How long has it been since a mortal has become that level of a farie and what kinds of repercussions or changes do you think that we are going to see.
Well it’s been a while since there was a pure mortal… I mean technically Maeve and Sarissa are pure mortals and are only influenced by the mantle so… they were first generation Half Fae, but… As far as Molly being pure mortal… is she really any more is sort of the question and sort of what we are dealing with. I don’t know if you’ve read your short story [audience: It’s not out yet] It’s not out yet? Oh, Oh, ok, Well you should read that! Definitely. It’s called Cold Case.
What was your inspiration for Michael?
The Sheep Farmer’s Daughter Series by Elizabeth Moon. It’s one of the better Paladin series I’ve ever read. And I’m like, You know what? I wanna do a paladin, I want to do somebody who is righteous, not self-righteous. Someone who walks the walk instead of talking the talk. And so I wanted to drop Michael in as someone who was very near a paragon of Christian and Catholic ideals… Not of Christian and Catholic Dogma, and that’s where that character came from. Someone who was very close to being a really, really good human being, and I wanted him to be there, especially as a contrast to Dresden because Dresden is always messing around in these murky areas and I wanted somebody for whom that was not an issue. Going into the murk has never been an issue for Michael because he’s a different person from where he stands and the way he looks at the universe that is not what he is going to do. But he’s also nevery going to be the guy who has to make the hard horrible choices that Harry sometimes has to. And the question is, is he avoiding responsibility, or does his belief allow him to create other options that aren’t horrible choices? How does that work? I don’t know. I wanted to write a story about it, maybe I could figure something out. But yah, Michael is the guy that I wish I was, the guy that I think a lot of people wish they were.
In one of the recent books you had Uriel bestow his power on Michael and Uriel said, “if you screw up with this, I will fall.” Is that what happened to any of the Denarians?
The Denarians were all either angels who sided with Lucifer, or they were angels who did not get off the fence… or did not get off the fence in a timely enough fashion. Lasciel was one of those angels who tried to play both sides off the middle and it did not work out for her after the angel war. Which makes her more bitter because her schemes fell apart. She was pretty confident about those schemes. But yah the Denarian’s are all angels who either sided with Lucifer during the rebellion or were sort of cast out after, there was this whole crew of angels who were like, “well you know what, you disserted from this combat or you fled this battle and your gone as well.” And they might not have been cast into the lake of fire but they went other places.
Does Lucifer have his own coin? And will he make an appearance?
NO, are you kidding? He’s the [British accent] prince of $%&#@ darkness.[/British accent] no that doesn’t happen. No that was the deal, better to rule in hell than serve in heaven, and he does rule in hell, he’s not stuck in a coin. We will get to see him on stage later, that’s not until the big trilogy. He’s firkin Satan, you can’t get any worse.
Will we see Billy or Jenny Sells again?
Let me think that’s way back… [audience] Monica Sells’ kids [/audience] OH those two God. Um.. Maybe… that could well be… Oh my gosh… They are on a page or notes somewhere and now you’ve reminded me… *expression of painful consideration* I’m going to have to think about this. Yah, uh, thank you for that question. I’ll work on it. Oh my God we will… That has to happen now. I mean they aren’t going to have a different view of Harry than the White Council does (context, earlier in the Q&A Jim said the Council thinks Harry is the next Kemmler/Dark Lord in the making)